About a week ago, a very good friend sent me a sonnet on the on-going Ebola crisis and asked me to give him my thoughts. The thrust of the poem was how the name of a river whose waters are supposed to be life-giving is now synonymous with ever widening ripples of death. However, I felt that the poem lacked grounding, so I suggested to him that maybe a study of the actual river and its flow could give him concrete details of a spatial, historical or ecological nature on which to anchor the exposition. Might be, it's the ethnographic bug.... More than that, his request sent me thinking of poetry on the virus or crisis, of which I found quite a handful online. 

"Two poems on what it’s like to live with Ebola, climate change".

Article by Larisa Epatko.

On the Ebola ride,

paranoia is the driver.

It takes you on a high

leaving your senses hanging in the wild.

Fear is its deputy,

and panic, the conductor.

You never know which way the bus will go,

but you are told that as long as you stay put, constantly wash your hands,

and limit human contact; you’re in a “safe” place, at least for a while.


See PBS Newshour for the rest of the poem...

Patrice Juah is a trader in Liberia. Here's a picture of her store or a part of it. 

(Image from PBS Newshour)

Poem on Climate Change

Dear Matefele Peinam
 by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner

dear matefele peinam,

you are a seven month old sunrise of gummy smiles
you are bald as an egg and bald as the buddha
you are thunder thighs and lightning shrieks
so excited for bananas, hugs and
our morning walks past the lagoon

dear matefele peinam,

i want to tell you about that lagoon
that lucid, sleepy lagoon lounging against the sunrise


See PBS Newshour for the rest of the poem...

Views: 160


OAC Press



© 2020   Created by Keith Hart.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service